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Two Days in the White City
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1
And You Thought YOUR Family Was Dysfunctional...

Summary: Legolas writes yet another song, and Merry and Pippin make a startling discovery.


~~~

(At Minas Tirith, after the destruction of the Ring and the return of the armies. Arwen and Eowyn are sitting together out on a balcony. Eowyn has one arm in a sling. An awkward silence. Then...)
Eowyn: So... You and Aragorn, huh?
Arwen: Yep... Me and Aragorn.
Eowyn: Well. That's nice.
Arwen: I like to think so.
Eowyn: I mean, that's great. Aragorn is only the most noble, bravest, strongest, most honorable, most handsome, hottest, sexiest man in the entire--
Arwen: Um. Didn't you say you had some pictures or something?
Eowyn: What? Oh, yeah, sorry. (She pulls out a large photo album and opens it on her lap) So. This is my fiance, Faramir, the new Steward of Gondor.
Arwen: Yes, I have met him. He is a fair and noble lord.
Eowyn: (smiling) We are going to have a house in Ithilien.
Arwen: How lovely!
Eowyn: (turns the page) And this is Boromir. He would have been my brother-in-law. But he was driven mad by the lure of the Ring.
Arwen: Oh dear.
Eowyn: He then repented and was subsequently slain by orcs while defending two halflings.
Arwen: Pity!
Eowyn: I should say. And this is Denethor. He would have been my father-in-law. Except that he was shaped to Sauron's will by the Palantir. He went mad and tried to burn himself alive, along with Faramir. He only succeeded in the first task, of course.
Arwen: Oh dear!
Eowyn: (turning the page) This is my brother, Eomer, whom you know. And this is my uncle Theoden, whom I loved as a father. He was poisoned by his advisor who was actually in league with Saruman. Then Gandalf healed him.
Arwen: That is most fortunate.
Eowyn: But then he was slain in battle, only a few yards away from me, though I did not know this at the time.
Arwen: Oh.
Eowyn: (turning the page) And this is my father, Eomund, and my mother, Theodwyn, and my aunt Elfhild, and my cousin Theodred. And this is my gerbil, Mister Sparklepants. (pause.) I was five when I got him.
Arwen: I see.
Eowyn: Anyway, dead, dead, dead, dead, and dead.
Arwen: Im very sorry.
Eowyn: (in a low voice) Actually, both Faramir and I are in counseling right now. I expect we will be for a very long time.
Arwen: Well, it will all be for the best. (Pats Eowyn's hand)
Eowyn: (abruptly closes the album) Well, enough about me! What about you?
Arwen: (smiles) What would you desire to know?
Eowyn: Well, when you wed, will you be keeping your name, or hyphenating, or what?
Arwen: (thinks for a few moments) Actually, I do not believe I have a last name. (Thinks a little more) Nor does Aragorn.
Eowyn: I suppose that makes things simpler.
Arwen: And what will you do when you wed?
Eowyn: Now that I think on it, I do not have a last name either. Nor does Faramir. (pause) I have never thought about this before. This is a little bit strange. Think you that there could be more than one Eowyn in Rohan and Gondor?
Arwen: It is a possibility.
Eowyn: Things could get complicated.
Arwen: Fear not. For surely you are the only Eowyn Shield-Arm, just as I am the only Arwen Evenstar.
Eowyn: (perks up) Oh...that is a heartening thought. So... I like your hair...
Arwen: Why, thank you.

***

(Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin are strolling around)
Pippin: So, you were on a horse with her for HOW long?
Merry: I don't know... like, three days.
Pippin: And you had your ARM around her?
Merry: Well, yes...
Pippin: And you couldn't tell she was a WOMAN?
Merry: I was preoccupied, okay?
Pippin: And not just any woman, but the most beautiful woman in, like, the 200-mile radius?
Merry: Look, she had the whole silent-warrior thing going on, all right? With the helmet, and the chain-mail, and the look of impending doom, all right?
Pippin: Okay, whatever you say...
Merry: I'm not DUMB, you know...
Pippin: Oh, sure, maybe in some (quotation marks with his fingers) "magical fantasy world" you're not...
Merry: (punches him) Stop it!
Pippin: Ow! That's where the TROLL fell on me! (punches Merry)
Merry: Ow! That's where the WITCH-KING hit me!
Pippin: (looks at the ground) I'm sorry.
Merry: (looks at the ground) I'm sorry.
Pippin: (brightening up) Merry! It's been almost 20 minutes since our last meal!
Merry: You're right! I'm famished.
Pippin: Let's go find the kitchens, then.
(They stroll off arm-in-arm)

***

(Back on the balcony, Arwen is signing Eowyn's sling)
Eowyn: The elves have such a fair script! What does it say?
Arwen: (says a very beautiful-sounding elvish phrase) In your speech, that means, "get well soon. Love, Arwen."
Eowyn: (mildly disappointed) Oh... (pause) Look! Here come Masters Meriadoc and Peregrin, the halflings. (Waves them over) Master Meriadoc aided me in slaying the Witch-king, and Master Peregrin helped save Faramir from his father's madness.
Arwen: Impressive.
(Pippin and Merry come over to where the two women are sitting)
Eowyn: Good morrow, young masters.
Pippin: Yes, nice morning. You wouldn't happen to know where the-- (Merry elbows him) Oof!
Merry: (bows low. Pippins shoots him a resentful glance but follows his lead) Greetings, noble Ladies.
Eowyn: This is Lady Arwen of Rivendell, daughter of Elrond, and new Queen of Gondor.
Pippin: Whoa.
Arwen: (smiles) Yes. Masters Meriadoc and Peregrin and I were at Imladris at the same time this past Autumn.
Eowyn: Want to sign my sling?
Merry: Um...sure. It would be a great honor.
Eowyn: (as Merry signs her sling) So... do you have a last name? Either of you?
Merry: (finishes up and hands the pen to Pippin) Of course. I'm a Brandybuck.
Pippin: (signing) And I am a Took. (Eowyn looks at Arwen. Arwen shrugs) Right, then... you ladies wouldn't be so kind as to point us in the direction of the kitchens, would you?
Eowyn: That way... I think.
Pippin: Right! Thanks!
Eowyn: Watch out for the hedge-maze in the garden. I got lost in there last Friday... Anyway, a fair day to you both. I trust we will see you at the banquet tonight?
Merry: Yes, of course. (bows again) Thank you, Lady Eowyn. You know that I will always be a faithful servant of Rohan.
Eowyn: (touched) I will remember that, Master Meriadoc. (She gives him a hug and a kiss on the cheek)
Merry: (turning pink) Right! Bye!
(He and Pippin walk off again)
Pippin: (elbowing him) And you couldn't tell she was a WOMAN!

***

Eowyn: (Watching them go) How kind and merry those halflings are! Always so warm and cheerful...
Arwen: You know why that is, don't you? (Whispers in Eowyn's ear)
Eowyn: Goodness! Is it a narcotic, or a hallucinogen?
(Legolas and Gimli walk up)
Legolas: Is what a narcotic or a hallucinogen?
Arwen and Eowyn: (smiling) Nothing.
Eowyn: I hope this morning finds you well, good sirs.
Gimli: It does, gentle ladies.
Legolas: We are enjoying the beauty of this fair city. I am certain that in no time, Aragorn will have it restored to its former glory.
Gimli: Strange, though... There is a large hole in the maze of hedges...
Legolas: Indeed. It appeared as though someone had hacked straight through.
Arwen: Yes. That is very strange.
(Eowyn looks in the other direction)
Legolas: Lady Eowyn!
Eowyn: (startled) Augh! What?
Legolas: I see you still bear wounds from battle.
Eowyn: Yes. I was fortunate to be merely injured.
Legolas: May I sign your sling?
Eowyn: But of course!

***

(In the kitchen, Merry and Pippin are eating enthusiastically)
Merry: Mm... Gondor food's not bad, is it? I liked the food at Rohan, too.
Pippin: Mmph... So, you told king Theoden he would be like a father to you, right?
Merry: Right.
Pippin: And he was also kind of like a father to Eomer and Eowyn. So that means you're kind of like a brother to them, right?
Merry: Well, that makes sense, I suppose.
Pippin: And Eowyn's marrying Faramir, so he's like your brother-in-law. And Faramir's practically a sworn brother to Strider, now... and Strider's marrying Arwen... and I'm sure Arwen and Legolas are related, too-- probably second cousins or something... and you're cousins with me and Frodo... Merry, do you realize what this MEANS?
Merry: What?
Pippin: It means WE'RE ALL RELATED! How convoluted is THAT?
Merry: That's pretty convoluted, Pip. (pause) So, I like this crunchy stuff.
Pippin: Yeah, me too.

***

(Legolas is still signing Eowyn's sling)
Eowyn: Um... Master Legolas, what exactly are you writing?
Legolas: (not looking up) A song in your honor.
Gimli: He always makes up songs. Everyone does.
Eowyn: Right off the top of his head?
Gimli: Sure. He and Aragorn did a really great song for Boromir's funeral. About the winds and everything.
Legolas: (still writing) You flatter me unjustly, my friend.
Gimli: No, really... the rhyme scheme was the same for every single verse! And they were just making it up as they went along. And just yesterday Legolas did this great one about the sea...
Arwen: Bilbo Baggins at Imladris is also a very fine songwriter.
Eowyn: That's really nice. So... um, is this a very LONG song?
Legolas: I cannot yet tell. It may be.
Eowyn: So... you wouldn't want to just SING it to me, would you?
Legolas: (wounded) I wanted it to be committed in writing!
Eowyn: Oh... on my ARM...
Arwen: (stands up, diplomatically) I will go and fetch some parchment for Legolas.
Legolas: No, stay, Lady Arwen. I am nearly finished. (Arwen shrugs and sits back down)
Eowyn: Good. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting hungry.

***

(When Merry and Pippin return to the balcony some time later, Eowyn has Legolas in a headlock, which is impressive considering she only has the use of one arm. Legolas is struggling to escape. Gimli and Arwen are trying to break them up)
Eowyn: You SAID you were almost done!!
Legolas: Well, I THOUGHT I was, but then I just kept thinking up all these great rhymes for--
Eowyn: Twenty-two ****ing verses! Even the Ring-bearer didn't get twenty-two verses in his song! What am I going to do with twenty-two ****ing verses?!!
Legolas: Sometimes I get carried away...
Arwen: Lady Eowyn, please be reasonable!
Legolas: Gimli, do something! This maiden is clearly nuts!
Gimli: I am trying, friend Legolas, but somehow I cannot bring myself to attack an unarmed, injured woman.
(Legolas gets loose. He spins around and kicks Eowyn in the shins)
Eowyn: (hopping backwards) Ow!! That was cheap!
Arwen: Okay, you guys, this is really enough.
Legolas: (ignoring her) Oh! You want cheap, I'll GIVE you cheap, you skinny ungrateful bimbo!
Eowyn: Bring it on, you pointy-eared girly-man!
Merry: Stop it! Stop it, you guys!
(Surprised, Legolas and Eowyn both look at Merry and Pippin)
Pippin: Yeah! Lady Eowyn, what are you doing, beating up on your brother-in-law's second cousin by marriage, once removed?
Eowyn: (Stares at Legolas) What? YOU'RE my brother-in-law's second cousin by marriage, once removed?
Merry: Well, he is... in a way...
Legolas: Oh! Please forgive me for my long-winded songwriting!
Eowyn: No, your intentions were noble... the fault was mine!
(They hug)
Eowyn: You see, I always become ill-tempered when I am hungry...
Arwen: (taking her by the arm) Well, let us go and fetch some ice for your shins.
Merry: And then we can escort Lady Eowyn to the kitchens!
Pippin: Perfect timing! It's been almost fifteen minutes since we last--
Legolas: Come, Gimli! We shall all go together.
(They all start walking)
Eowyn: And I am sorry I called you a pointy-eared girly-man. That just kind of popped out.
Legolas: And I do not truly believe that you are a skinny ungrateful bimbo. That... also just popped out. Verily, I will finish the song on parchment and deliver it at the banquet tonight for all to hear. I suppose it can be shortened if I remove five or six of the verses about your golden tresses.
Eowyn: Really? You wrote about MY hair?
Legolas: Of course. Blonds tend to have all the fun, and your hair has a remarkable luster. What brand of conditioner do you use?
Pippin: Yep... one big, happy family.

FINIS

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